LGBTQ advocacy groups are expressing complaints after the U.S. Census Bureau decided to delete LGBTQ Americans from the 2020 U.S. Census on the same day that it proposed including them.
Following code and conduct, the Department of Commerce, and more specifically, the U.S. Census Bureau, is obligated to release a list of topics and categories that it will follow for the next three years. This list of survey topics for the 2020 U.S. Census was just released this Tuesday.
LGBTQ advocates were thrilled to see that Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity was included for the first time, but they were then surprised to find the category taken off shortly after.
The U.S. Census Bureau quickly released a statement saying that the inclusion of LGBTQ people onto the census was some sort of mistake.
"The Subjects Planned for the 2020 Census and American Community Survey report released today inadvertently listed sexual orientation and gender identity as a proposed topic in the appendix," the U.S. Census Bureau said in a statement to NBC News. "This topic is not being proposed to Congress for the 2020 Census or American Community Survey. The report has been corrected."
Though the U.S. Census Bureau quickly re-uploaded a new list that excluded Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, the National LGBTQ Task Force was quick to publish both versions of the 2020 Census plan on their website.
As you might imagine, several LGBTQ activities and organizations, like the National LGBTQ Task Force, complained about this sudden change. In fact, the National LGBTQ Task Force told NBC News that they will ask Congress for an oversight hearing to demand answers from the Trump Administration concerning the sudden removal.
That said, the U.S. Census Bureau continues to say that the inclusion was a simple mistake and the removal was a quick fix for that.
Then this past Wednesday, U.S. census Bureau Director John H. Thompson posted a statement about the issue.
“There have been a number of questions raised about the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity due to an error in the appendix of the report. Our proposal to Congress was that the planned subjects remain unchanged from the 2010 Census and will cover gender, age, race/ethnicity, relationship and homeownership status. It did not include sexual orientation or gender identity,” Thompson stated.
"In April 2016, more than 75 members of Congress wrote to the Census Bureau to request the addition of sexual orientation and gender identity as a subject for the American Community Survey. We carefully considered this thoughtful request and again worked with federal agencies and the [Office of Management and Budget] Interagency Working Group on Measuring Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to determine if there was a legislative mandate to collect this data. Our review concluded there was no federal data need to change the planned census and ACS subjects.”
h/t: NBC News